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    Sworn Enemy

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1My Misery lyrics
    Scared Of The Unknown lyrics
    3New Breed (Live) lyrics
    4Disbelief lyrics
    5One Way Trip lyrics
    6Disbelief (Live) lyrics
    7My Misery (Live) lyrics
    8Forgotten lyrics
    9Pain lyrics
    10These Tears lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1As Real As It Gets [2003]
    2Integrity Defines Strength [2001]
    The Beginning Of The End [2006]
    4Negative Outlook EP [2002]


    Sal LoCoco - vocals
    Mike Raffinello - guitar
    Lorenzo Antonucci - guitar
    Mike Couls - bass
    Paulie Antignani - drums

    Sworn Enemy, the self-titled September 11-inspired opening track on Sworn Enemy's No Name/Elektra debut album As Real As It Gets, features vocalist Sal LoCoco roaring The sight of you I despise, I'll help you meet your maker and I won't think twice with a conviction that would stop you dead in your tracks. But the song also includes the lyric, snarled with equal ferocity, In the end my memories would be the thoughts of a better day/Thoughts of a better DAY! That jarring contradiction between uncontrolled rage and undying hope is what makes Sworn Enemy one of the most riveting hardcore bands to come out of New York (or anywhere else) in recent memory. As Real As It Gets is an explosive statement of intent, a manifesto of hardcore fury and values that demolishes boundaries and preconceptions, only to let the light of a better day shine down on what's left behind.

    Sworn Enemy's roots stretch back to the mid 1990s. LoCoco and guitarists Mike Raffinello and Lorenzo Antonucci, are lifelong friends who played in various bands in Queens; they released one single under the name Mindset which got a good reception from the hardcore underground scene. Soon joined by bassist Mike Couls, formerly of Detroit's Cold As Life, and drummer Paulie Antignani, the band adopted the name Sworn Enemy and wasted no time in setting out to accomplish their mission. In a year and a half, they have played literally hundreds of shows, touring the US three times and the east coast four times. They've shared the stage with the most respected names of the punk/hardcore scene, from Hatebreed to Poison The Well and many more.

    We're from Queens, which has a huge hardcore/metal scene, with a lot of bands and a lot of people who see themselves as outcasts, Sal explains. The hardcore/metal scene is a really small, tight community across the US -- everyone knows everyone. Growing up, Sal and his bandmates idolized legends like Slayer, and new labelmates, Metallica and Pantera.

    The band soon recorded an EP, Negative Outlook, but their real first step up came when Sworn Enemy played a Massachusetts show with Hatebreed. Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta was impressed enough with the show and the EP that he agreed to put it out on his own label, Stillborn Records. Negative Outlook has gone on to sell an incredible 15,000 copies, mostly by word of mouth, at shows and by mail order. They recently put out a second EP of studio and live tracks, Integrity Defines Strength, which has sold over three thousand copies in just a couple of months. Jasta also brought the band to Steve Richards and Steve Ross at No Name Recordings, home of Hatebreed and Slipknot, among others. Sworn Enemy represents the new era of New York hardcore/metal crossover bands that was started by the Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Biohazard and Madball, says Jamey. Now it's Sworn Enemy's time to carry the torch.

    For As Real As It Gets, Jasta took the reins as the producer, and the result is a brutal, relentless sonic assault. The album's ten songs feature stomping grooves, disorienting stop-start riffing and flat-out thrash; above it all, like a body-surfer at a hardcore show, is Sal's desperate wail, making it clear that this isn't just hollow bluster. What gives the music its crushing impact is an anger that's tempered by lyrics that, despite their rage, have intelligence and hope. Generally, Sal writes the words, and guitarists Raffinello and Antinucci write the music, although the roles blur once the band starts rehearsing. I've gotta be in the mood to write, Sal says. I can go blank for six months, but then write a hundred songs under pressure.

    "Most of what I write about is stuff that has touched me or people I know," he continues. "Our songs are angry but hopeful. I hope I write what people can relate to, like I could relate to the bands I liked. Whether adversarial, like the betrayal in My Misery, or regretful, as in Days Past, or spiritual, as in These Tears, the songs make a personal connection, one that stands out amid a punk scene sometimes bogged down by self-righteous debates about "cred" and "selling out." Sworn Enemy makes the music they feel, plain and simple.

    The urgency of this approach becomes all the more apparent when the band takes the stage. It's hard to fully appreciate Sworn Enemy without witnessing the spontaneous fury of their live show, a key part of their appeal to their fanatical followers in the New York/New Jersey/Connectictut tri-state area and elsewhere around the country. Equally amazing is the fans' response at their shows. As anyone who has seen them can testify, Sal's hope of making music that people can relate to is clearly fulfilled, as the audiences mosh, sweat, pump their fists and shout Sal's lyrics right back at him with the same conviction as if they'd written the words themselves.

    We want to end the meaningless boundaries between metal and hardcore, he states. We want people to like metal, hardcore, punk, nu-metal, whatever. Everything can unite with everything

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